Remote Control: Pressing Pause on Life
When we talk about changing our lives, we often use the analogy of a remote control. We talk of rewinding our life to a better time or fast forwarding to an anticipated future; we can also want to press pause on life. Although we can't actually do this, the analogy of the remote control is still useful as a way of understanding and exploring our life.
The attraction of being able to undo our life, rewind to a point where we were happier, when things were simpler or we had someone in our life who is now gone is sometimes irresistible. We feel that if only we could go back, the difficulties we currently find ourselves in would be changed and we would be able to be happy. In other cases, we hope that we could be able to rewind so that we can undo some of the damage and hurt that we have caused to other people. Unfortunately, the rewind button on this remote is broken.
Another broken button on the remote is the fast forward button. Sometimes it feels like we would do anything to get beyond these difficult circumstances into a time which we are sure will be happier, more rewarding and easier than the times we currently live in, and it can be agonising to us that we are unable to jump forward to the future.
However there are some buttons on this remote control which do work.
Press Pause on life
The first button that works is the ‘pause' button. We can often take time to stop and examine what's happening to us and how we feel. Like examining a still frame from a DVD, we can sometimes look at our life in detail and understand what's really going on. When we press pause on life, the process of introspection can be both revealing but also calming. It also helps us stand back from our tendency to interfere in the lives of others.
Another button that works on this remote is the ‘play' button. We can take life on at a pace that is fast enough to see things change, but not so fast that we get overwhelmed by the things that happen to us. Whilst this isn't always easy to do, it is easier if we aren't distracted by the hopes of being able to rewind or fast forward.
Psychotherapy can help you pause and understand your life. Press pause on life and take the time to explore what is really going on; this can help you make the changes to take you closer to the life you want.
It can also help you cope with uncomfortable feelings; those that make us wish we had a ‘rewind' or fast-forward' button.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Now, read about How to Avoid Burning Your Bridges with People.
– Tim Hill
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